How DC’s New Traffic Signs Can Tell When Drivers are on their Phones or Not Wearing a Seatbelt

There’s no question that people use their cell phones too much while driving. Now, a district agency is using new tech to try and get motorists’ attention off their phones and on the road.

The city has deployed a new traffic safety device, called the SmartSign, that senses if drivers are on their phones, not wearing a seatbelt or driving too fast. The signs, which are attached to a mobile trailer unit, tell drivers to put their phones down, buckle up or slow down, said Rick Birt, the director of the DC Highway Safety Office. They’re similar to signs that display speed.

“The goal of these trailers is to provide instantaneous feedback to motorists so that they have that opportunity to make a better choice,” Birt said.